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U.S. Department of Education Has Awarded More Than $3.5 Million to Charter School Developers Across the Country


The U.S. Department of Education awarded more than $3.5 million to 22 grantees across the country to help plan, design and create new charter schools and to increase the school choices that parents have to provide their children, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announced today.

“By acting as laboratories for best practices, charter schools are helping to break apart the myth that some children can’t learn, changing attitudes about education and getting great results for students,” Secretary Spellings said.

Charter schools are growing at an annual rate of 10 percent. The Department’s program is the most prevalent source of start-up funding for charter schools, with nearly two-thirds having received Charter School Program (CSP) funds during their start-up phase. The CSP has received more than $1.9 billion from Congress since first being appropriated in 1995, and the department provides some $250 million a year to help sustain and expand charter schools across the nation.

Charter schools are independent public schools designed and operated by parents, educators, community leaders, education entrepreneurs and others with a contract, or charter, from a public agency, such as a local or state education agency or an institution of higher education. Charter schools are operated free-of-charge to parents and are open to all students.

These schools provide parents with enhanced educational choices within the public school system. Exempt from many statutory and regulatory requirements, charter schools receive increased flexibility in exchange for increased accountability for improving academic achievement. The first U.S. public charter school opened in 1992. Today, more than 4,000 charter schools serve more than 1 million students in 40 states and Washington, D.C.


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